There were two eras associated with the 1950’s – the Hollywood Glamour era in the early 1950’s and the “Nifty Fifties” time frame that happened later in the decade. Murder at the Bourbon Club takes place at the start of the decade in the glamour era. Think Frank Sinatra, not Elvis Prestley, L.A. Confidential, not Hairspray and Dial M for Murder, not Grease. It’s the Vintage Hollywood era, so when considering your costume, the more glamorous, the better. We would not recommend a “costume” for this mystery, but a trip to your local vintage store for a new and unforgettable addition to your wardrobe!
For women, embrace your inner Hollywood Starlet by donning a long evening gown, possibly with a fur stole (faux, please!) Each movie star had their own glamorous trademark hair and lipstick, and a porcelain complexion was standard. The Hollywood Starlets tended to wear their hair longer, and a wave was the common denomenator. Remember – the war created a deficiency in luxurious fabric and accessories, and by the 50’s, luxury was making a comeback. Christian Dior started The House of Dior in ’47, bringing forth the “new look” of women’s fashion – small waist, rounded shoulders and pointed bust were all the rage in Europe, but Americans resisted the new look. Hollywood stars were the pioneers of these “cutting edge” fashions, and paved the way for the new styles in luxurious materials to become popular.
For men, suits and ties were worn regardless of the situation. Most of the time, hats (either a fedora or a bowler hat) were also worn. Suits were broad shouldered and usually grey. Luxury was a flanel suit, cufflinks and a pocket square. Some of the leading men opted for tuxes (like Humphrey Bogart). Trench coats were the jacket of choice (whether one was a detective or not!)